Posted by Joyce Harman, DVM on Jan 9th 2023
My horse has a laceration! What are my natural options?
This is the first in a series of wound healing articles. Since horses are amazingly talented at injuring themselves, and lacerations are the most common thing we deal with, this is an excellent place to begin. And a great place to learn the power of natural healing.
Any lacerations that you do not feel capable of handling should be seen by your vet, and any wound that gets more tender to the touch after a few days must be seen, since it may be getting infected. There are many extremely effective natural treatments, and they can be used alongside the recommendations of your vet. As you gain confidence, you will find you can treat many simple wounds yourself, and speed up the healing of lacerations treated by your vet.
There are several ways to naturally promote the healing of lacerations in horses. Herbal remedies, Calendula, raw honey, and aloe vera can all provide natural treatments for lacerations in horses. Herbal remedies have been used historically and are still being used today to treat various ailments and injuries in animals, including lacerations in horses. Calendula is thought to speed up wound healing and reduce inflammation.
- Keep the wound clean: Keep the wound free of dirt and debris by gently cleansing it with water, saline or a diluted solution of honey and water. This will help prevent infection.
- Use natural dressings: Cover the wound with a natural dressing such as honey (especially for large wounds), aloe vera, Noni, or calendula to keep it moist and promote healing. Honey should be raw, but you can use “grade B” honey from a local beekeeper for large wounds, it works the same. Grade B is just off flavor for eating.
- Use homeopathics: Some remedies help speed up the healing process such as Calendula.
- If the laceration is becoming tender or you suspect an infection is brewing Hepar Sulph is very helpful.
- To learn to use homeopathy with wounds and lacerations my book, Homeopathic First Aid for Horses will guide you.
- For serious or deep wounds, the new Carbon Dioxide therapy will speed up the healing process. See this link for an article about it.
- Provide proper nutrition: Make sure your horse is getting the proper nutrients it needs to heal. A healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals will help support the healing process.
- Keep the wound protected: If the wound is in a place that is prone to rubbing or irritation, protect it with a bandage or wrap. This will help prevent further damage to the wound.